Meet Celtic’s newest signing
Enterprise: Sports fashion start-up secures deal with Scottish champions
An Aberdeen sports fashion start-up launched by an out of work oil and gas industry worker has signed a licensing deal with Scottish football champions Celtic.
Collette Norval, 27, was on a Wood Group PSN graduate programme when she became yet another casualty of the North Sea downturn.
She set up her social enterprise, Squad, just last year.
It already produces “snood” scarves for seven out of the 12 Scottish Premiership football clubs, including Aberdeen, as well as Edinburgh Rugby and the Glasgow Warriors rigby team.
Ms Norval has renowned social entrepreneur, Aberdeen FC director and former PSN chief financial officer Duncan Skinner to thank for both the idea and a start-up loan.
The pair met when she was on secondment at Granite City mattressmaker Glencraft, the social enterprise Mr Skinner saved from closure in 2010.
Squad has also received help from Business Gateway.
Other clients include a Scottish beer-maker and a national charity. All of the company’s profits are donated to charity via the Skinner Charitable Trust.
Ms Norval said the deal with Celtic, which sees Squad selling scarves embossed with the Glasgow club's famous four-leaf clover crest, had the potential to raise Squad’s profile on a global scale.
She added: “Having Duncan, a highly regarded businessman and director of Aberdeen FC, as our chairman has undoubtedly opened a lot of doors for us, particularly with Scotland’s top football teams.
“And the help our Business Gateway adviser has given regarding marketing and sales has been extremely valuable.
“Taking part in an IP (intellectual property) audit organised by our adviser before we even launched meant we avoided making a big mistake right at the start.
“We aim to build relationships with more clubs in Scotland and target those in the English premiership and Championship.”
TWO UP TOP: Duncan Skinner gave Collette Norval the idea and start-up loan for the successful Squad enterprise